EU-Russia relations: Alternative Futures
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Summary of Dr Sergei Medvedev’s presentation
As far as the future directions are concerned, Dr Medvedev pointed out three major ”scenarios” ranging from partnership (low probability), cold peace (medium probability), and zastoi (high probability). In Dr Medevedev’s assessment, the negative trends will be prevailing in the EU-Russia relationship in the years to come. These include perpetuation of the current system in Russia beyond the 2007-08 election cycle. The toleration of this system by the West can be explained by Russia’s geopolitical position, oil resources, and security risks such as terrorism. Furthermore, it is likely that uncertainty in Europe will continue over the future of enlargement, EU internal system. All this will result in Russia slipping to the bottom of the list of the EU’s priorities.
In conclusion, Dr Medvedev briefly pondered into the possibilities of facilitating the positive change in the EU-Russia relationship. He mentioned that a liberal modernization in Russia and the EU’s emerging global actorness might lead to a qualitative change. Dr Medvedev also stressed that the forthcoming presidency of Finland in the EU might have a special role in improving the relations between the EU and Russia.